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John Morris

I'm a Developer at WishList products, creators of WishList Member, instructor for the WishList Member Certified Developers program, and creator of numerous WordPress plugins and PHP applications.

Why so many programmers say PHP stinks

I was perusing Quora today and came across this question:

“Why do so many programmers say PHP is a bad language?”

Of course, that ruffled ol’ Johnny’s jimmies, so I clicked to so see some of the answers and this one made me laugh:

“They’re the same people that want to ban bread knives from being sold based on the premise that they’re murder weapons.

“As the saying goes – ‘PHP is so easy to learn that any idiot can use it. Far too many do.’ You can write terrible, horrible code in every programming language out there. In hard to learn higher level languages like C++, your program will crash or simply not work. In PHP, it will mostly work and allow you to hack along until it does.

“Before PHP5 it was definitely a bad language. PHP5 cleaned up most of the really bad stuff. PHP7 fixed some more fundamental issues, and is really honestly a good mature development environment. For legacy B/C reasons a lot of weird shit is still around, like the infamous string type juggling (1+”1e2f” equals 101…), but trying so actually gives notices these days and is on the way to official deprecation.

“If you use a professional, mature and high quality framework like Symfony you’ll be surprised at the elegant, powerful, clean and highly performant code you can write in PHP that will pass every single software engineering quality test you can think of.”

I mean, look.

Do you blame the wrench if a car is built like s!@#?

The hammer, if a house falls apart in a year?

The gun, if a psychopath shoots up– oh wait…

Point is, PHP is a tool… just like any other language. A screwdriver, a hammer a wrench. Which one you use depends on the job. And anyone who thinks PHP is a double-clawed hammer… is the moron, IMO.

Trick is… knowing how to use the tool properly.

(That’s what sh— dammit, there I go again.)

The truth on all this language war stuff…

Is PHP7 officially put this all to bed.

It’s a mature language, at this point.

All the naysayers are just crying at ghosts at this point.

Anyway, if you want go beyond the “script kiddie” stuff and learn how to build mature, professional PHP applications that will allow you to write your own check when it comes to your web development career…

My PHP curriculum on SkillShare can help you get there:

And, you can get access for nothing. Deets at the links above.

If you wanna make PHP your thing, that’s how to do it, IMHO.

Now, it’s just up to you to grind it out.

Later,

John

September 24, 2018

I almost killed this guy

It was Iraq.

I was a Combat Lifesaver, which meant we got a little extra medical training. And, I’d volunteered to work at the on-base hospital, because they were short-staffed. So, whenever we had a “mass casualty” type event, I went up there.

That day, a mortar round landed on base…

Right in the middle of one of the unit’s meeting.

There were over 30 people that got hit.

And, the hospital had 2 doctors and 2 medics.

We had to fill in the gaps on the rest of the casualties. The ones hit the worst went to the doctors and medics. The rest to us. That was the first time I was responsible for someone all by myself.

He had shrapnel wounds all across the front of him.

And, he’d broke his arm.

But, he wasn’t seriously hurt.

The only real risk was him going into shock.

So, the big thing was to get an IV in him, get his wounds dressed and arm in a splint and he’d be just fine. Now, we spent a lot of time practicing IVs. And, I had the distinction of never having missed in the dozens of times I’d practiced it.

But, as I went to give this guy an IV.

I was literally shaking.

I kept trying to calm down…

But, my hands just wouldn’t stop shaking.

I did my best, but I missed. And, as soon as I did, he freaked out. Starting yelling, “Do you know what the f!@# you’re doing?” I’ll be honest, I damn near cracked. That moment was just so intense.

All the chaos around me.

This guy screaming at me.

And, my mind racing about 100 mph.

It was almost too much.

Thankfully, I had a friend. Melissa. She was running around just helping everybody she could. And, she saw the guy freaking out and came over. I told her what happened and she said to me, “You got this. You’re the best of us at this.”

Then, she looked at him and said:

“He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

“Just relax and let him do his job.”

He calmed down.

I calmed down.

And, I nailed the IV on the next attempt. Got him bandaged up and after a few minutes, he calmed way down and we were in the clear. I remember every time I saw that guy on camp after that.

It reminded me of how I almost failed…

And, how someone else almost died because of it.

I had thought I was prepared.

I’d even gotten little cocky because “I never missed”.

But then, I missed when it mattered most.

My point of telling YOU this is… this is the reason behind why I constantly push you to put yourself out there. Apply for that job, take that client, put up that profile. I know it’s not exactly the same…

And yet, it some ways it IS.

Because this is YOUR life at stake here.

And, the truth is…

You can practice in your head all you want.

Prepare as much as you can.

But, nothing will fully prepare you for the day you go “live”.

You just have to suck it up and do it to know what it’s going to be like. For me, after that day, I trained harder than I ever had. It gave me new meaning and purpose. And, the next time a real situation came around… I didn’t miss.

So, I know it’s scary…

And, you likely will fail in some way.

But, you HAVE to do it if you want to move forward.

And, if you stay calm, stay focused and just GRIND…

You’ll get through it.

And, that’s when the world opens up to you. Once you conquer that initial fear, suddenly anything becomes possible. And, you’ll feel a whole new purpose and energy to everything you do.

So, the line is cliche, but it’s also true:

Just DO It!

That said, I had a friend. Someone who helped me through it. I’m honestly not sure what I would have done had she not been there. If you want the same kind of assist, I have a whole curriculum of training…

To teach you everything I know about making this work.

And, help you get over that initial hump of fear and doubt.

And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

But, whatever you do… go for it!

It’s the only way forward.

Later,

John

September 23, 2018

How I got 39 Upwork job invites a month step-by-step

I’d been on Upwork about a few months.

And, I decided to try this “crazy” thing that ended up being the single most profitable freelancing strategy I’ve discovered. I wound up with 39 job invites that next month. I’d had none the month before and 3 the month before that.

It got so bad, I had to turn off my availability in Upwork.

And, that year I had my first six-figure year freelancing.

When, I started teaching…

I took the exact same strategy and applied it to selling my courses.

And, it’s how I’ve sold 1000s of copies of those courses.

Funny thing is…

Whenever I tell someone what I did, their immediate reaction is “why would you do that?” It IS counter-intuitive in a way, but it’s also a perfect example of how short-sighted most freelancers are.

Would you like to learn this strategy?

And, the reason WHY it works so well?

And, how to apply it to YOUR freelancing business?

Then, check out the first lesson in the new Module 4 of my Freelancing on Upwork course. I just uploaded that module and in it, I show you what the strategy is and exactly how to implement it step-by-step.

It is THE thing that is responsible for the success I’ve had.

And, it’s not rocket surgery.

Just gotta know what it is…

And, how to do it.

Anyway, you can get access to the course for nothing over on SkillShare. As a teacher, I can give you a 2-month, no-cost trial of SkillShare. You get FULL access to all 21,000+ courses on the site, including mine.

Including my Freelancing on Upwork course.

So, sign up, take the entire course…

Cancel any time before the 2 months is up…

And, never pay a penny.

Link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

P.S. Here’s a recent review from one of my students:

“This class made me just jump into Upwork and land my first job right away!! ♥ thanks” — Lucre Garino

So, I’m not just tooting my own kazoo.

Link again is here:  https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

September 22, 2018

My exact digital marketing strategy

This is what happened when I turned my digital marketing “machine” exclusively toward my courses on SkillShare:
​​​​​​​

I went from 5,000 minutes of watch time in April…

To almost 30,000 minutes in August.

And, September is on pace to surpass August.

That’s a 600% increase in watch time. And, this is real money in my pocket, because SkillShare pays its teachers based on watch time. So, that’s also a 600% increase in my earnings from SkillShare since April.

Here’s another one:
​​​​​​​

That’s 101 students in April to 441 in August.

An over 400% increase.

None of this is to brag.

It’s to provide you with evidence of the power of digital marketing. And, here’s how this is relevant to YOU. These days, I point this at my courses. But, I USED to point it at my freelancing services.

And, it works just as well.

Probably even better, because services are often easier to sell than products.

So, I just uploaded 14 new lessons to my Freelancing on Upwork course over on SkillShare where I show you exactly what I do to create content and promote my courses. So, you can build a similar machine.

And, I show you how (and why) to use it with Upwork.

But, honestly, you could point it at whatever you like.

And, I show you how in the new lessons.

Anyway, if you wanna learn what I know about digital marketing, what I focus on, how I set it all up, what I automate and what I don’t, how to create content that sells and on and on… it’s in Module 4 of the course.

Link to get no-cost access to the course is here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

P.S. If you’re a Patron, the new module is already uploaded over there, as well. You can download it here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/15080008

September 21, 2018

Freelancing is SO dumb

“I got, I got, I got, I got
Loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA
Cocaine quarter piece, got war and peace inside my DNA
I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA
I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA
I was born like this, since one like this”

— Kendrick Lamar

Was rockin’ this song this morning.

Got me thinking…

My daddy was a gamblin’ man.

Not in the old west sense, but absolutely in the early 2000s America sense. The first house I lived in in Colorado he built himself. Took a risk on owning and paying a fraction of the price… but lost.

So, we moved to Nebraska.

He took a chance on starting his own business.

A car accident ended that one.

Then he got into the unsavory.

Started out innocent enough with the lottery. It eventually devolved into an “inheritance from South Africa” (that one got him thrown in jail for a few days) and he hit rock bottom when he eventually stole from his own son.

That’s why I’m not surprised I’m a bit of a gambler myself.

Never could work a steady 9 to 5.

It just wasn’t in my DNA.

And, your DNA is what your DNA is.

But, it’s not a matter of you’re destined to be something or you’re locked into a certain kind behavior. I believe it deals with who you are at your CORE and what you ultimately value in life.

I value freedom above security.

I value controlling my own destiny over feeling safe from the unknown.

I value time over muney.

That’s just WHO I am.

And, the more I’ve embraced that and have tried to act in congruence with my DNA, the more success I’ve had… but, more importantly, the happier I’ve been. I am what I am and I no longer apologize for it.

There’s an important lesson in there if you’re paying attention.

Anyway, this is why I freelance over working a 9 to 5. This is why it’s really hard for ME to understand why anybody would WANT to work  a 9 to 5. It’s just goes against everything I value. It’s not in MY DNA.

My wife, though.

She’s different.

She loves a good 9 to 5.

And, she really is perfectly happy.

And, people like her often think freelancing is dumb.

It’s so risky.

She’s taught me a lot in that regard.

Because, I used to be very judgmental of the “9 to 5 drones”.

But, now I get it.

Point is…

You need to know who YOU are. What YOU value. What YOUR DNA is. And then, embrace it. Be congruent with it. And, don’t apologize for it. The more you do, the happier you’ll be… and likely, you’ll be more successful, as well.

In any case, whatever YOUR route…

My training curriculum can help you. From my Freelancing on Upwork course to my HTML, PHP and OOP courses… whether freelancing is in your DNA or a steady 9 to 5, the training can help you get there faster.

In fact, I recently got this review of one of my courses:

“I thought you were just praising yourself in the intro but this is seriously one of the best tutorials ever. Its consistent, clear, and most importantly has examples and tells us why we are doing things. Just like you said. Thank you for this great effort.”

So yeah, I’m not just stuffing rainbows up your wazoo.

Anyway, it’s up to you…

But, you can get access to the curriculum for nothing over on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

But, whatever you do… don’t deny who you are.

Embrace it… then ACT on it.

And, you can thank me later. 😉

Later,

John

September 20, 2018

I just sold a script for a Toyota commercial

Came across this on Twitter:

“But, but Joooohn…”

“There’s not any good clients on Upwork.”

“This. Does. Not. Compuuuuuuu—”

Ooooooor, maybe just maybe all the know-it-alls who rant and rave about how awful Upwork is are wrong. Naaaaaaaaah. Couldn’t be.

Sigh.

Look.

The truth about Upwork is what it’s always been.

There’s amazing clients that pay well and are awesome to work with.

And, there’s dirtbags.

It comes down to 2 things:

  1. Knowing how to FIND the good ones.
  2. APPEALING to the good ones so they hire you.

Figure those two things out and Upwork suddenly becomes this amazing client-getting machine that can send you so much work you have to shut it down so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Soooo… will you put in the work to learn this two things or no?

That’s what it comes down to.

But, that’s up to you.

I can’t tell you what to do.

Anyway, I teach both in my Freelancing on Upwork course. How to consistently find the best clients and pull out the key hiring criteria from their projects so you can write persuasive proposals.

And, you can learn it for nothing on SkillShare.

Details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Do what you will with it.

Later,

John

September 19, 2018

Tattoo this on your fookin’ forehead

I got this from Jen on Facebook:

This is one of the things that drives my inner grumpy old man to drink.

We live in this world where a whole cadre of charlatans well-meaning self-help “gurus” bloviate teach about how to “channel” your inner confidence. All, you gotta do is stand on your head and rub your belly while chanting “ooooooom”.

Or whatever B.S. stuff they’re teaching these days.

And, I mean… yeah.

Some of that stuff can be helpful.

But, the simplest, most effective, most guaranteed to way to generate ACTUAL confidence on a day in, day out basis… is from competence. In fact, tattoo this s!@# on your forehead (not really, tho):

Confidence comes from competence!

All the chanting and “oooom”-ing is meant to get you into action.

But, if you never actual do things that are scary to you…

You never actually EARN that real confidence.

I think this is why people who go through my stuff report this same kind of rise in confidence. Finally, someone who refuses to pat their head and fill them full of rainbows and butterflies.

No.

It IS your fault.

It IS your responsibility.

It IS up to you.

Chant and “ooom” all you want.

Then, when you’re done, get up and actually DO something.

Apply for that job you’ve been scared to apply for. Put that profile up on Upwork you’ve be procrastinating on. Start that YouTube channel. Learn that language. I don’t know what it is for you… but I know it’s something.

Something that as soon as I say all this…

Comes immediately to mind.

You’re thinking about it right now.

Trying to find out way out.

A way to NOT have to do it.

STOP!

DO IT!

It’s your dragon to slay!

So, slay that b!@#%!

Whew!

Okay, got a little fired up there, but you get the point.

Nothing happens until you do this.

That’s the reality.

Anyway, if you want an assist with the web development side of things, I’ve got a whole curriculum of courses for you to grind through, learn, act and EARN that confidence in your web development skills.

And, you can get access for nothing on SkillShare.

Details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

But, regardless…

DO something.

Life is way too short to not at least CHASE the kind of life you want.

Later,

John

September 18, 2018

She slammed me into a telephone pole

​​​​​​​I think about that day a lot.

I was 8. My dad was driving my little brother and I to school. It was foggy and we couldn’t see more than five feet in front of the truck. We came to an intersection with a major highway near where we lived.

I still feel responsible.

Because, my dad asked us:

“Can you guys see anything?”

I said, “No.”

And, he took off across the highway. She was speeding. 65 mph in a 55. She slammed into the side of our S-10 just behind the passenger door where I was sitting… no seatbelt. The impact launched us 30 feet in the air and spun the truck 180 degrees.

We slammed into a telephone pole…

Just in front of the passenger door.

Had either impact been two inches closer to the door…

I’d have died instantly.

But, that’s not what I think about or feel guilty about. It was my dad. When we hit the ground, we were all thrown from the truck. He landed awkwardly and chipped part of his spinal cord. He’s been a paraplegic ever since.

Since moving down closer to my mom and him…

I see him every day.

The struggle just to get out of bed.

Going the bathroom.

Eating.

It’s all an excruciating amount of work.

When I was a kid, I used to think that if I were him, I’d have handled it better. I wouldn’t have “checked out”. I’d have worked my way back to “normal”. I’d have taken care of my kids and my wife.

God, what an arrogant S.O.B. I was.

Next year, I’ll be the same age he was when it happened.

It seems obvious now that I have no idea how I’d handle a situation like that.

But, watching all this taught me something…

Something that drives a lot of the choices I make.

Life can turn in a split-second.

One day, you’ve got it all figured out. The next it all comes crashing down. You can never be prepared enough. That’s why I’m a web developer. It’s why I freelance and run my own business. It’s why I moved to Missouri.

On and on.

I’ll be damned if my kids suffer like I did… no matter what happens.

Point is…

Yes, it’s Monday. Yes, Mondays suck. Yes, it can be easy to just “take a day” and phone it in. Well, let me be your kick in the a!@. Tomorrow ain’t given. It can all go away in a flash. Are you prepared?

Is your life everything you wanted it to be?

Could you look back now without regrets?

If not, suck it up there buttercup.

Don’t fall into the easy “It’s Monday” excuse.

Be better than everybody else.

And, get to crackin’.

You can’t control what the future will bring your way…

But, you CAN control what you do now to be ready for anything.

And, of course, if you want an assist web development-wise, I’ve got a whole curriculum of courses for you to get crackin’ on. HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL OOP, freelancing and more.

You can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Details on that here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

So, no excuses bucko!

Time to make it happen.

Later,

John

September 17, 2018

Why would anyone wanna freelance?

Got this from Nick:

“If the unemployment rate in the USA is 3.9%, why would you Not Want a regular job especially when it clearly a employees market better than in the Dot Com days.”

My response:

I want to homeschool my kids.

I don’t want to commute.

I want to be able to work the hours I want.

I don’t want to have a boss.

I don’t wanna deal with co-workers.

I wanna make what I want to make instead of begging my boss for a raise.

I don’t wanna work on projects I don’t want to or for people I can’t stand.

Need I go on?

It’s like I’ve said. I feel like it’s in your DNA or not. Me… I honestly think I’d go broke freelancing before I’d “sell my soul” and be some corporate “drone”. Okay, okay. Probably a bit extreme.

But, there’s 1000 reasons why I’d freelance over getting a regular job.

And, I know you just might feel the same way.

Question is… are you doing it?

And, if not… have you been lying to yourself about it?

Truth is… you can’t escape it.

It’ll just keep gnawing away at you.

Anyway, it’s your life.

Do what you want.

But, if you’re like me and want an assist getting going with freelancing OR growing it from a side gig into your full-time gig… check out my Freelancing on Upwork course over on SkillShare.

It goes beyond just Upwork.

And, will teach fundamental freelancing principles along the way.

That you can use whether you use Upwork or not.

And, you can get access to it for nothing.

Anyway, details on all that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

September 15, 2018

Upwork clients don’t pay jack

Womp, womp.

Ring the alarms, boys!

We got us another “epic takedown” of Upwork.

Read ’em and weep:

Sigh. Guffaw.

Welp, guess I’ll cancel all my Upwork contracts…

And, pack it up.

Seriously, though… average pay rates are maybe the least useful metric ON Upwork. Clients hire all sorts of freelancers… they could be paying some dude 5/hour to walk their dog for all we know.

Anyway, Danny Margulies said it best:

Here’s a great example.

This client’s average hourly rate is 15.28/hour:

Yet, they just dropped over 5k… 70/hr for 82 hours on a freelancer:

Imagine if you wrote this client off because of their average hourly rate!

That and finding these clients isn’t that hard. Took me about 10 seconds to set up my search filters and BOOM… a whole list of projects where the client is payment verified, has hired over 10 freelancers and is willing to pay more for good work.

Truth is…

People who say this s!@#…

Probably never actually used Upwork.

Because, they’d know how epicly stupid this comment is.

Anyway, don’t mind lil’ ol’ me. Do what you want. But, if you wanna learn how to turn the largest freelancer platform in the world, Upwork, into your personal client-delivering machine, give my Freelancing on Upwork course a look.

You can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare…

Sooooo… why not?

Anyway, deets on all that are here: http://www.upwork101.com

Later,

John

September 14, 2018

When I die

I’ll never let what happened to my wife… happen to MY kids.

It was such a mess.

Her dad recently passed away and had ZERO planned or prepared for his death. So, instead of focusing on grieving, my wife and her family were scrambling figure out all the details of his funeral and scrounging up the money to pay for it.

And, it’s like I told her…

That’s HIS fault.

If you leave your kids in a bind like that when you die, you failed them.

Matter of fact, after seeing it I had a uncomfortable talk with my own dad.

And, I’ll be damned if I ever let that happen to my kids.

But, it’s more than that.

I don’t just want to “not leave them a mess”.

I want to be able to hand them an “empire”. That’s one of the biggest reasons I run a business and don’t work a regular job. I can’t give my job to my kids. But, my business, I can. It’s why I work at it as hard as I do.

It’s why I learn things I’m not necessarily interested in.

So, I can teach them.

Really, it’s the WHY behind everything I do.

Legacy.

How will I be remembered?

Not just by MY kids…

But by their kids…

And, THEIR kids.

As a father, I feel like it’s MY responsibility.

In any case, if you have or plan on having kids, I recommend taking a moment to take stock. Are you prepared? Will you be able to hand them something of value when you go? How will they remember YOU?

If that vision isn’t 100% what you’d like it to be…

You need to get crackin’!

Because, we never know when that moment might come.

Anyway, if you need an assist with the web development career part that will help you to BUILD all of this, you can get access to my full curriculum of web development training courses for nothing over on SkillShare.

Details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

But, whatever you do… don’t brush this off.

The older you get, the more you’ll wish you started sooner.

So, get after it.

Later,

John

September 13, 2018

I was 8 feet from death

After yesterday’s email, I had quite a few people ask me to talk about my Army experience more. To be honest, I’ve purposefully NOT done that because it just seemed sort of cliche and banal.

But…

If people are finding it helpful, I’ll give it a try.

Depending on how you respond I may do more.

Anyway, when I was in Iraq, I was stuck on the teeniest of teeny camps. It was 300 yards wide by 1 mile long. For comparison, Camp Victory, which was right next door to us was 20 square miles.

And, in the year I was there, we had 1159 mortar rounds land inside our walls.

If you can imagine a Google map just covered in pins…

That’s what the “mortar map” looked like.

In fact, the camp was nicknamed “Mortaritaville”.

Every square foot of the camp had a mortar round land on it at one time or another. Which, as you can imagine, was terrifying. Every day, you woke up and knew that your walk to the bathroom or shower or chow hall could be your last.

And, there was nothing you could do about it.

Anyway, the closest I ever came to “getting it”, I was just leaving the warehouse I ran while I was there. I got about 20 feet outside the warehouse and the camp sirens started going off.

There happened to be a CONEX box just a few feet away.

So, I dove on the ground and crawled up next to the side of it.

Good damn thing, too.

Because, the mortar rounds started landing just on the other side of it. And, they slowly started walking back closer. The last few rounds hit right next to the other side of the 8 ft. box. I could hear the shrapnel pounding up against it.

I was sure more rounds were coming…

And, were going to land on my head.

But, the biggest mistake you can make is to get up and run.

That’s asking to get hit.

So, I just laid there waiting.

That was my life for the year I was there. But, it taught me something that I’ve used literally every day since… and I credit for the majority of any success I’ve achieved since. And, that’s the ability to endure, be patient and stay focused…

Even when everything around me seems like it’s falling apart.

When I got back and was bouncing from job to job. When I felt like my wife would leave me at any second because I was a loser. When, I started do this coding thing and was terrible at it. Hell, even now, as I’m living and working in the same building while we build our house.

The ability to persist…

And, keep focused…

And, just keep moving forward…

Most of that came from my time in Iraq.

Anyway, I don’t think you necessarily need to go to a war zone to develop that ability, but you do need to KNOW just how important it is. In some ways, it’s everything. Because, no matter what you do… you’ll face adversity.

How will you react?

Cut tail and run?

Or, stick in there and keep grinding.

That’s something only you can answer.

Of course, you don’t need to go it alone when it comes to the adversity you’ll face in building your web development career. That’s what I’m here for and I’ve got a whole curriculum to help you fast-track down that path.

And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

BUT…

Know, there will be challenges, doubts, fears and lots of hard work.

Your ability to PERSIST will determine how far you go.

Later,

John

September 12, 2018

The day that changed my life forever

I still remember it like it was yesterday.

I was working construction at the time. We all suddenly got called back to the office. The first plane had hit and we all sat there around the radio as the second one hit.

Nobody knew what to think or say.

We just sat there horrified and speechless.

Our foreman then sent us all home.

I had already joined the Army in their Delayed Entry Program and was set to start training in six months. I immediately called my recruiter.

“What does this all mean?”

“Will they be having me go to training early?”

“Are we going to war?”

Of course, he had no idea.

Just over a year later, I was in Iraq. In fact, I got there the week of my birthday and basically spent the first three days in a bunker waiting out the mortar attacks.

Here’s the messed up thing.

It was IN Iraq that I really discovered the internet…

Online business…

And, eventually web development.

I often wonder what my life would be like if I’d never went over or never joined the Army or if 9/11 never happened. So, today is always awkward for me.

I’d take it all back in a second.

And yet, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I did.

Anyway, I don’t have much of a point other than to say… it’s easy to look back on past choices and mistakes with regret and wish you could go back.

But, who knows how that would affect your life?

You wouldn’t be the person you are, today.

And, at the end of the day, we CAN’T go back.

So, all you can do is keep looking forward and keep moving. Eye on the prize… the career and life you want for yourself and the grind to get there.

And, try to enjoy the journey along the way.

Anyway, if you want an assist with your web development career, get no-cost access to my entire curriculum over on SkillShare. All the details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

Later,

John

September 11, 2018

The guy my wife left me for

Thinking about it still makes my stomach churn.

We went to one of her sister’s kids’ baseball games. And, in these small towns, everybody went to school together and nobody ever leaves.

So, you’re always running into someone.

This time it was Josh.

I didn’t take long into the conversation for my insecurities to start flaring up. He was talking about this “amazing” job and all the money he made.

His new 4-bedroom house.

He pointed to his new Chevy truck in the parking lot.

Blah, blah, blah…

“F!@# this guy!”, I kept thinking.

And, as they sat there chatting, my mind started to race. “Look at how she looks at him. She never laughs that much at MY jokes. Why can’t we just f!@#ing leave?”

And, that ball of anxiety…

And anger…

And ultimately sadness…

In my stomach just kept growing.

Later that night, as we argued about money for probably the 100th time that week. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Was she secretly wishing she’d married him and not me?”

I was convinced…

“This is the guy my wife will leave me for.”

Here’s the truth.

It may be the same for women, I don’t know. But, I KNOW for most guys, when you don’t have your career in order… either, you’re still figuring out what you want to do…

Or, you’re working some job you hate…

It makes you feel like less of a man.

We could debate all day if it *should*…

But, it does.

And, when you’re in that place… it infects every part of your life. Especially, your relationships. The conversation my wife had in the park that day…

Is one she’s probably had 100 times since.

It was nothing.

But, because I didn’t have my s!@# together, every little insecurity I had came raging to the surface and I was surprised when she didn’t just shag him right there in the park. That’s how crazy it can get.

Anyway, point is…

Don’t think you can skirt around this. If you KNOW your career isn’t where you want it to be, don’t fool yourself into thinking, you can fudge.

Instead, attack it.

Head on.

And, start pursuing the career and life you really want deep down in the places you don’t tell anybody about. It makes you feel whole.

And, every other part of your life better.

Of course, as an aspiring developer, I’ve got a whole curriculum of courses that help you fast-track that journey. PHP, OOP, HTML, CSS, freelancing and more.

And, you can get started with it for nothing on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

Later,

John

September 10, 2018

What pisses me off about developers

This s!@#:

“I really feel blessed now that I have stumbled on to you. I say you and not your YouTube channel or your patreon site. I have been in freelancing for many years. I cannot make a living doing what I do now, I don’t really have the passion for it that I had over 20 years ago, and felt a bit burned out on life in general. Not a good place for a father and husband to be.I contacted another much respected programmer over a year ago about my passion for coding but he is an employee and has no freelancing experience. He told me that it would be almost impossible to get into the coding world unless you get hired and work at the office at least for the immediate future. I took that to heart and was truly heartbroken.”

Look, I get we all have our biases.

I certainly have mine.

But, the incessant refrain from some corners of our industry on a range of “dirty” topics like freelancing (ewww) or PHP (noooob) is annoying as f!@#.

Or the genuflecting towards anything with A.I. in it.

I’m convinced I could take a dump in a bag…

Say it has A.I. in it…

And, these clowns would fawn all over it…

Without even thinking.

I don’t know. Maybe, I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but I feel like while part of my job certainly is to inform other developers.

Underneath that…

It’s to inspire and motivate.

To open your mind.

Challenge you.

And, most of all…

Not take a big ol’ dump all over your hopes and dreams.

Why certain developers get into a position of authority and then do that, I’ll never understand. Especially, when their “advice” flies in the face of the facts.

I told you this yesterday.

But, speaking on freelancing, specifically.

We’ll look back and laugh hysterically at all these people who looked down or scoffed at freelancing and actually said, “You can’t make a good living as a freelancer”.

Because, most of us will be doing it.

That’s the way the world is heading.

All the data shows it.

Anyway, let me get off my angry soapbox. If you don’t buy into all this B.S. and know freelancing is the future and want to get rolling now.

Check out my Freelancing on Upwork course.

I’ll show you what I’ve learned in 14 years as freelancer.

And, how to get rolling quickly on Upwork…

The world’s largest freelancing platform.

You can get started with it for nothing on SkillShare.

Deets for that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

September 8, 2018

Freelancing is a lot of B.S. for pennies

It’s a kind of “tale of two freelancers”.

Here’s the first:

“Sounds like a lot of bullshit for pennies. There are simply MUCH better ways of making money using the skills you already possess as a freelancer. Ever heard of “high income skills”? Probably not…get paid what you’re worth.” — Steve Guzman

And, here’s the second:

“Thanks so much John! I recently started freelancing and all of your tips have helped me to stand out and land my first gig :)” — Jaaster Dev

Opinion vs results.

You’ll notice that the people who rag on Upwork or freelancing, in general, rarely provide any facts or evidence. Kinda weird, eh?

Eeh… not so much.

Because the facts don’t fit their narrative.

Like the fact that freelancers in the U.S. went from 30% of the workforce in 2016 to 36% in 2017. And, has been growing like that for awhile.

That’s projected to be over 50% by 2027.

20.9% of freelancers earn 100K or more.

And on and on.

Almost every estimate and expert out there projects that we are headed toward a “gig economy” where the majority of the workforce is freelancers/independent contractors.

But nope.

Ignore all that…

And, listen to me Steve Random YouTube Commenter.

Mkay.

Anyway, if you want an assist getting your first “gig” and wanna learn what Jaaster learned, just enroll in my Freelancing on Upwork course for nothing on SkillShare.

I’ll teach you what I know…

From 14 years of doing this freelance thang.

All the deets are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

September 7, 2018

YouTube hates me

Got this zinger over on YouTube:

“Why did you needed to clickbait? 58k subs, 500 views with clickbait,  r you kidding me? Without clickbait he would have 250.”

Oof!

In a haze of dread…

And paranoia that “they found me out”…

I recorded this completely inadequate response: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/344/

If you’re marketing your freelance services, products or your “dope” new app and wanna use YouTube (or blog or social media), I recommend a listen on why these are hands-down, 100% the dumbest, most ill-informed comments ever.

And, what you should do instead.

Later,

John

September 6, 2018

I think I’m gonna give up on Upwork

It’s interesting when you talk to people who’ve had success on Upwork… how eerily similar and simple their approach is.

A lot simpler than most imagine.

This comes from this question I saw on Quora:

“I’ve tried my best in UpWork, yet I can’t get any job. Should I give up?”

Reading through the answers, you’ll see a pattern:

  • Don’t copy/paste your proposals
  • Specialize don’t generalize
  • Be picky about the jobs you bid on
  • Charge more
  • Use good grammar

It’s not rocket surgery.

But, to the question, I think this answer said it best:

“It doesn’t matter if the platform you’re trying to succeed is Upwork or some other freelance website. This is the critical point for every freelancer. Now, it has to be decided whether or not you’re going to be a freelancer. Believe me, all freelancers had to go through this phase on their freelance journey. You just have to overcome this waiting period, frustration, and disappointment. There’s no other way.”

Yep.

It’s either in your DNA or it’s not.

And, if not, no big deal. You’re not less of a person or anything. You just need to be honest. And, if one small setback has you ready to give up…

Freelancing probably isn’t for you.

But, if you’re like me…

And, working a regular, 9-5 job just sucks the life out of you, then you just need to persist. That first client CAN be a bear, but once you get it…

The flood gates tend to open.

And, it’s gets easier and easier with each new one.

This comment says is best:

“I started out with with Freelancing as a WordPress professional on Fiverr, started taking on projects there and also at the same time bidding on projects on Upwork. It is think it was on October 2017 I started watching John’s videos where he said to spend atleast one year on Freelancing. Fast forward one year now I am Top Rated on Upwork, 100% job success score. Also on Fiverr I have 140 five-star reviews. Its only because of one thing, I dedicated one year of my life totally to freelancing instead of looking for jobs.”

Pretty simple.

Don’t let a little adversity stop you from going after the career and life you really want for yourself. Commit to yourself that “come hell or high water”…

“I’m gonna make this f!@#ing happen!”

And, it will.

In any case, if you want an assist int getting that first Upwork client, enroll in my Freelancing on Upwork course (for nothing) here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

All the details on no-cost access are on that page.

Later,

John

September 5, 2018

My tech job is killing me

About a month ago I got this message from Scott:

He wanted to get into web development.

And, wanted to know if it was any better.

Fast-forward to today and he just sent me this:

Now, it’s obvious to me what happened.

I get all the notifications. Scott has absolutely tore into his learning. Took my Beginner’s Guide to PHP course. Dove into my Freelancing on Upwork course.

Hired a pro photographer to take his head shot.

Started working on YouTube videos.

Just insane amounts of action.

If he keeps it up, it will be almost impossible for him to lose. Because no matter what happens or how things change, he will grind through it.

And, that’s it.

That’s the “secret”.

Which, of course, is no secret at all.

Combine an insane work ethic…

With the right training…

And, you’re basically unstoppable.

Anyway, if you’re ready to grind like Scott, you can take the exact courses he took here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris. That gets you no-cost access for 2 months.

Grind through all my courses in that 2 months…

Cancel before the 2 months is up…

And, you won’t pay a dime.

Or don’t…

And, keep watching others live the life you wish you had.

Up to you.

Later,

John

September 4, 2018

Tips from a 400K Upwork freelancer

Upwork is like the PHP of freelance sites.

The most dominant player in the industry, but the one everybody loves to hate for some reason. I guess when you get big enough, it’s inevitable.

But, because of that…

I get asked a lot:

“Is Upwork worth it?”

Rather than me answer (again), why not hear from someone who has had massive success on Upwork… over 400k earned, in fact.

This is Adam:

“Before getting involved with Upwork, I was in a significant amount of debt from several failed businesses, from restaurants to apps, and the company I was currently working for, recently failed too, leaving me stuck between a rock and a hard space.”

Then, he joined Upwork:

“It wasn’t more than a couple days into my pursuit for paying projects, that I came across my first client that hired me to do a small 40 task on Infusionsoft. It took me about 30 minutes to complete, but I went above and beyond. My man was ecstatic!Not only did he write me an amazing review, but he basically offered to hire me for unlimited hours at 40/hour, which to me at the time sounded amazing!”

And, now?

Well, a picture’s worth 1000 words, right?

So yeah… definitely worth it.

But, his biggest insight on succeeding on Upwork…

Might sound a bit familiar:

“I quickly figured out that the above skills are pretty common and the competition was fierce. What was different about me, was my motivation to help the client achieve their desired goals. In a word… “Competency”. For some reason, many freelancers on the site were/are unreliable. Not only did I experience this when I was hiring people, but also when I spoke with potential clients when I was interviewing for gigs. There wasn’t a lot of trust at all.”

Hmmm…

Think I know someone who has been hammering this point home for years now. Trust is the #1, most essential part of ALL freelancing… including Upwork.

And, knowing how to demonstrate you’re trustworthy.

Beyond reviews.

Or your portfolio.

Everybody does that.

But, doing it simply in the words you say.

And, how you say them.

So, everything you write, every phone call with a potential client, every ounce of messaging they get from you just oozes with trustworthiness.

That’s when this freelance thing gets easy.

And, you can charge 295/hour.

And, make 400k or more.

Anyway, that’s the main thrust of my freelancing on Upwork course over on SkillShare… showing you how to demonstrate your trustworthiness.

Even if you don’t have a big client history…

Or tons of reviews…

Or, a perfect portfolio.

You can still have success from day one there.

Anyway, you can get access to that course for nothing on SkillShare. As a teacher, I can give you a 2-month, no-cost trial of SkillShare.

You get full access to all the courses there.

Including all of my courses.

Dig into as much as you want in that 2 months.

Cancel anytime before the 2 months is up…

And, never pay a penny.

Link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

September 2, 2018